When the New York Yankees take the field for their televised spring opener (Feb. 26 on the YES App), they might look a little different -- and not just because they'll be wearing alternate shirsey-style navy jerseys in the Florida sun.
This team had to undergo a bit of a numerical shuffle this offseason after welcoming high-profile free agents Carlos Rodón and Tommy Kahnle to the fray.
Kahnle, who was already with the Yankees from 2017-2020 (for his second tour of duty), was well-established as No. 48, which Anthony Rizzo wears these days. Rodón has been No. 55 every step of his MLB journey -- except for in San Francisco, out of deference to Tim Lincecum. In SF, he wore No. 16 ... which is off limits in New York without express written consent from Whitey Ford (which you ain't getting).
No. 55 in New York has been Domingo Germán for years. So where would Rodón land? Would Mingo give it up? If so, what would it cost? Steak dinner? Steak dinner and a soup?
Whatever the price, the gambit worked; Rodón will wear 55, while Germán will transition to ... wait, what the f***, "0"? That was an option?! Oh yeah, Adam Ottavino is gone.
Yankees fans will be surprised by Domingo Germán wearing single digits
While someday, it might be nice for a higher-profile Yankee to take the final available single digit, we're going to have to accept Germán rocking it this spring and summer as he competes for the fifth starter role.
The right-hander was a zero in the Yankees' plans until a few weeks back when it became obvious something was still seriously wrong with Frankie Montas' shoulder. Now, Germán is the odds-on favorite to take the mound every fifth day, and he'll be doing so looking like Damian Lillard throwing out the first pitch.
Other numbers of note include Kahnle, who will take No. 41 and let Rizzo keep 48 entering what's technically his third contract in pinstripes (trade, signing, opt-out, signing). The most famous 41 in pinstripes is arguably Randy Johnson, who shoved a reporter to the ground and threw meatballs in the 2005 ALDS. Kahnle can do better.
As for the kids? Jasson Dominguez will rock 89, Austin Wells will wear 88, and neither of them will probably get much playing time. HINT: Don't buy your kids those jerseys.
The only interesting prospect number? Anthony Volpe, who's got the Double Mantles recently popularized by Clint Frazier; he'll wear No. 77. Shockingly, nobody in the media made a fuss this time. Wonder why.